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Ab Ovo

Merchant of Venice
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Oct 2, 2012
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Look Away, Dixieland - A Confederate AAR

I am not good at AARs. I am, in fact, very bad at them. In addition to the two which I am currently running there have been six failed AARs, all of which were updated at least twice with the exception of one which was never begun besides a brief vignette. This AAR -and hopefully the other two- will be the exception to that sad tradition. Victoria II has long been my favourite game among those produced by Paradox and unfortunately for me it is also the worst game I own. Alone out of my perfectly functioning collection of games Victoria is slow, crashes on a regular basis, and freezes with shocking regularity. These issues are frustrating and have lead to the littered graveyard of my AAR past however I have been contemplating a Confederate AAR for some time. Of all the countries in Victoria II I think the CSA is, as a Virginian, closest to me and I'm hoping this AAR will reflect that.

The 1861 start is a flaming disgrace which denies the South her glorious cores in West Virginia, Kentucky, etc., so I'll be playing initially as the US due to the marvelous selective coring events in the Grand Campaign start. I'm not going to pretend that I'll avoid pro-Southern policies as the US (gibe Cuba nao) but I'll try to not be too unfair about it. I hope that you all enjoy this as much as I will assuredly enjoy writing it. Updates will come when they can, especially in light of my two other AARs but it certainly will not die. Dixie deserves better than that.


Table of Contents
Jackson 1836: A Texan Acquisition
Harrison 1836-1841: A Caribbean Expedition
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Will be watching, good luck!
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Jackson 1836: A Texan Acquisition


President Andrew Jackson in his old age
The last year of Andrew Jackson's term was an eventful one. Research for a new kind of muzzle-loading rifle began at the Virginia Military Institute early in the year at the behest of the White House, which had grown concerned over the Texian War of Independence brewing close to the border. The issue of intervention in the War was one that was regularly debated in Congressional chambers as Democrats and Whigs battled over the issue; and the pro-intervention Democrats managed to pass a resolution allowing Texas to lead troops through American territory, hopefully as a prelude to American troops returning the favour. A spiteful Whig attempt to allow Mexican troops (whom they didn't particularly like, but not as much as they disliked the Democrats) to also traverse American land was immediately shot down. In retaliation the Whigs forced the Tariff of 1836 through Congress. The Tariff was almost exclusively a punitive piece of legislation designed to punish Democratic strongholds in the South by hiking up protectionist tariffs and raising taxes on certain wealth brackets like, for example, wealthy plantation owners.

In a show of force, Jackson ordered the Army of the South stationed in Tampa to the Texas-Louisiana border. This greatly displeased a contingent of Northern Democrats who opposed intervention and saw this as an overt move towards such a thing. Schism was briefly threatened but averted by a lavish dinner at the White House. In late May, Alcée Louis la Branche, Senator for Louisiana and Ambassador to Texas, happily announced that a Texian-American concordat of friendship had been signed in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Although the Republic and the United States were now formally allied the American government was under no obligation to enter into the current war and could do so at Congressional discretion. Whigs were dismayed but swallowed their displeasure and focused on the upcoming elections in November instead of trying to fight against a popular outgoing president and his administration which dominated many levels of government. Which is why two weeks after the concordat was signed and three days after Austin fell to Mexican troops, the United States declared war.

The Army of the South was waiting in Louisiana and the smaller Army of Observation was stationed protecting American settlers in Oklahoma before they both converged on Austin and set siege to the occupied city. Both armies were merged together into a wider Army of the South for jurisdictional regions and placed under General Henry Banks of Georgia; General Banks being a man of much wealth and possessing of a pedigree that could put a racehorse to shame. His lack of any military skill was not taken into consideration and the Army settled down for a long wait. Unfortunately for the oppressed Texian residents of Austin however General Banks soon ordered his men yanked from the city and west to El Paso, Mexico, where a sizeable Mexican army was shaping to go north and lay waste to Lubbock. The army moved at quickpace but by the time they had actually reached El Paso, informants in Laredo did their duty and informed the clueless Banks that the Mexican army had swiftly learned of their movements and went south. Again hot pursuit was given and the first battle of the war, the Battle of Laredo, was given as the troops met each other on September 30th.


The aristocratic and clueless General Henry Banks of the Army of the South
The battle raged on for nearly a week as the town of Laredo itself was turned into a mess of blood, dirt, and cannon craters. The Army of the South had initially had 21,000 men to the Mexican army's 15,000 but the Mexicans knew their way about better and the Americans who composed Banks' army, although from the South, were deeply unused to the dry Mexican heat and suffered nearly as many natural casualties as those who perished after being found by a bullet or a cannonball. Combined nearly 12,000 men were left dead on the fields by the news of a Mexican peace offer reached the men in Washington who mattered and an armistice was declared. The battle was ended by a stroke of a pen after another day and another 2,000 men fell into the dust and General Banks ordered his men back into the now firmly-independent Republic of Texas on November 9th. The same day the Texian Congress passed a resolution requesting annexation into the United States in order to cover their war debts.

This sparked a fierce debate in Congress. No-one objected to admitting Texas herself into the glorious Union but the issue at hand was whether Texas would be admitted as a free state or a slave state. The War of Texian Independence itself had been in a large part over whether the American settlers in then-Tejas would be allowed to keep their slaves after Mexico abolished the institution. Texas herself openly preferred to remain a slave state however the Whigs refused to take this lying down and repeatedly and with the heroic efforts of iron-lunged Whig legislators filibustered any and all attempts to admit Texas under the banner of bondage. This posed a serious problem to the young republic which had invested heavily in French arms and other materials and found herself frightfully unable to pay them back as further debts mounted daily. Fears of a French intervention were preyed upon with marvelous effect by pro-Unionist papers in Texas and the state edged closer and closer to being admitted as a free state as the Democrats were worn down in the halls of the Capitol. Finally, the Smoot Compromise was introduced by Senator Hawley Smoot of Ohio, which allowed for those slaveowners in Texas to keep all slaves they currently owned until their deaths but did away with the institution upon the death of the last slave. Weary Democrats took this as a win and Texas was essentially admitted as a free state.


The admission of Texas into the Union
The rest of Jackson's administration would pass quietly. News of an underground railroad being opened up in Tennessee reached the ears of Federal officials with celerity and they declined to inform local Tennessean officials for fear of stirring up abolitionist sentiments in the North and inflaming the situation further. Had he known, the ageing Jackson, a Tennessee native and slaveowner himself, would have been outraged. November brought news of yet another Anglo-French war -this time over French claims on Belgian Wallonia- and the presidential election. The Election of 1836 was a novel one in that while the Democrats ran just one candidate, Martin Van Buren, the Whigs ran four different candidates in hopes that each would be popular enough in their home regions to take the vote from Van Buren and force Congress to choose between Whigs. Van Buren was unpopular in the South as a New Yorker and many southerners felt betrayed by Jackson allowing the free admission of Texas and sided with the Southern Whigs, whose candidate was Hugh White of Tennessee. In the north however Van Buren was perceived as weak and support also swung further behind the Whigs. Eventually the colourless Van Buren was defeated by his own lack of charm and charisma and Congress, as the Whigs had intended, has to choose between one of their own as neither White nor Harrison. The Democrats, hoping a war hero like "Old Tippecanoe" would be more amenable to their policies, swung their support to Harrison and saw him soon confirmed as President-elect.

Thus strengthened by the election of one of their number the Whigs celebrated with the admission of Wisconsin into the Union on Christmas Day, as a free state. A handful of Southern Democrats tried valiantly and in vain to have her admitted as a slave state but their cause was sorely hampered in that most newly-minted Wisconsinites had never even seen a negro; let alone wanted to own one. Come New Years most Southerners got, in the words of one uncouth Alabama legislator to his family, "absolutely shitfaced drunk"and awaited the start of Harrison's term with mixed hope and trepidation.
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Exciting stuff, I trust you won't abandon this AAR in the near future? :p Really well written too, which is rare. And the fact that is an CS-AAR makes that even sweeter. Hope to see more~
For Dixie!
nice update! I didn't know the war with Mexico was over the possesion of slaves though
Exciting stuff, I trust you won't abandon this AAR in the near future? :p Really well written too, which is rare. And the fact that is an CS-AAR makes that even sweeter. Hope to see more~
For Dixie!
I certainly will not :p Thanks kindly
Do Dixie proud, and good luck.
Thanks kindly.

Will be watching, good look!
*tips his hat to a fellow Knight*

Thanks kindly.

Good luck, playing as the CSA is no small feat!
Aye. It's usually not too hard to pull off a whitepeace in the War for Southern Independence, it's just the continuous revanchist wars afterwards.

nice update! I didn't know the war with Mexico was over the possesion of slaves though
Thanks kindly. And yeah, the Texan War for Independence was in large part over whether Texans could keep their slaves, in addition to the desire for greater autonomy in general.

Texas a free state??? :p

Great start, keep it up.
I pondered long and hard over the decision to make Texas a free state (Wisconsin came more easily). You'll see why I chose it soon enough...


I shall hold you on that one! And good luck, of course :)
Feel free and thanks kindly!

This AAR is better than angel sprinkled honeyed crumpets.
High praise indeed. May the moths always avoid you >.>
Interesting AAR and well written, I'm a north Virginian myself so not exactly Dixie, but a Confederate victory scenario is always intriguing (make sure Virginia's western province does not fall under the sway of the Northern aggressors:ninja:)
Trust me Ab Ovo, I have read quite a few AARs over the years and seen only one or two individuals who genuinely were bad at AARs - and you are not among them. For what its worth, your latest AAR seems to be a slight improvement over your Venice AAR, which wasn't exactly bad to begin with. :)
Trust me Ab Ovo, I have read quite a few AARs over the years and seen only one or two individuals who genuinely were bad at AARs - and you are not among them. For what its worth, your latest AAR seems to be a slight improvement over your Venice AAR, which wasn't exactly bad to begin with. :)
Heh, it seems like so long ago. Thank you Tanzhang. I very much hope this does not end like Here Your Body Shall Rest, being annexed by Italy would be humiliating :p